a lot of talk about gun laws since the shootings in newtown, connecticut. one result seems to be increased support for tougher gun laws. 58% of americans polled say they want to see stricter gun laws as opposed to 34% who wants things kept the way they are. compare that to a year ago when only 43% wanted to see stricter laws. it's worth remembering, however, that support for tougher laws often spikes and then fades after mass shootings. of course, the nra always stands in the way of any new or reviewed restrictions, but, of course, we all know that. and we'll be right back. >>> welcome back to "hardball." president obama has a critical period of time at the start of his second term when he can set the course for the next four years. presidents traditionally have less than two years to make a mark in their second terms before their power starts to fade, and president obama is still facing a republican house that acts as though this election of last november never happened. how will he strategize for maximum leverage on the following issues, guns, our relationship with iran.